There is much speculation all over the Internet over what was Ed Whelen thinking when he published a Twitter thread closely matching Christine Blasey Ford's description of the house and the party where the alleged sexual assualt took place, but putting the finger on a different assailant who resembles Kavanaugh.
It's the most plausible theory yet offered. But how did Whelen come up with this?
It would take a staff of dozens many hours to go through every home in the Chevy Chase, Maryland area near the country club, to find one that closely matched the floor plan described by Ford. It would take a research team a month to go through the ownership records and match them with student records and yearbook notes to find who lived there.
To me, that means Whelen must have started with a person, not a home. It means he started with the person he mentioned in his Twitter thread, that has made the thread radioactive to the media due to (very real) concerns of a libel lawsuit. If he started with a person who resembled Kavanaugh in high school and in fact knew him, he must have a motive for doing that.
Either Whelen was being malicious, which, for reasons you'll see, seems doubtful. Or he had a hunch and ran it up the public flagpole, which would be terribly irresponsible and unethical. That would be counter to the purpose of a man who heads the Ethics & Public Policy Center. Or maybe he knows something more.
Ross Douthat of the New York Times knows Whelen and thinks there must be more to this.
Christine Blasey Ford dismissed the theory, quoted in the Washington Post: "I knew them both ... There is zero chance that I would confuse them."
Is there more to this? Did Whelen contact the person he mentioned by name first? Does that person have something to confess? Is there more to this than just an object lesson in making unsupported and nebulously described accusations?
I hope there is, not because that would exonerate Kavanaugh of any wrongdoing, or because it would prove Ford has her facts wrong. I hope there is because it would be one step toward sanity in what's increasingly becoming an ugly and awful chapter in our political history.